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Monday, June 24, 2024
HomeUncategorizedSivertson Marine Completes “Shake Down Year” in Grand Marais Looks to Future

Sivertson Marine Completes “Shake Down Year” in Grand Marais Looks to Future

Sivertson Marine LLC, a boat repair business located just north of Grand Marais, is completing a busy first full season.

“It’s been a pretty busy summer,” said owner Chris Sivertson. “I called it our ‘shakedown year.’” Chris, a hardworking thirty-something with a ready smile and a twinkle in his eyes, is also busy planning for expanded services for the coming years.

Judging by comments on Google, Chris is winning new, long-term customers with his focus on efficiency and fair pricing.

Tom Wasmund dropped over $5,000 with another repair center that didn’t fix the problem he had with his boat. He wrote, “Chris immediately zeroed in on it being a fuel problem. He found a failed fuel injector and a clogged fuel line and check valve. The camp boat now runs like it is new!”

Mary Jo Moore wrote that Chris found a short-term workaround that kept her boat running for an upcoming family event. Then, he did a full repair after the event, tested the boat’s motor, and followed up later to ensure it was still running fine. “He is very knowledgeable, skilled in boat mechanics, thorough and dependable,” she wrote.

“I really do this to make people happy,” Chris said. “Getting people back on the water brings me joy.”

When he’s not working on boats, Chris drives a delivery truck for Superior Fuels out of Duluth. Since fuel deliveries are down in the summertime, Chris has the time to pursue his marine business.

Chris attended Edison High School in Minneapolis. On school breaks and over each summer, he was in Duluth with his dad.

“We often hung out at the Knife River Marina, where my family had a boat,” Chris said. “I got to know and idolize the mechanics working on the boats there and wanted to be like them.”

Unlike many people who don’t know what they want to do with their life after high school, Chris knew what he wanted to do. He said that boat repair was why he was put here.

“I always wanted to work on boats,” he said. “And I always wanted my own business.”

At age 21, Chris began a two-year, marine-specific Power Sports Technology program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Detroit Lakes. Despite working other jobs after graduation, the goal of doing marine mechanics lived on. In the ten years since, he has always done marine repair as a sideline to maintain his skills. He incorporated Sivertson Marine LLC in July 2022, starting to seek new customers that fall.

Two years ago, Chris and his wife Ashley moved to Grand Marais. Ashley is now the General Manager of Sivertson Gallery in Grand Marais. The couple have two children, Sam (7) and Steve (3).

“Stevie is my future helper,” Chris says, pointing out that the three-year-old likes to spend time in the shop and is always eager to turn a wrench.

Chris converted an existing two-car garage on the family’s property into a shop for his marine business. Focused on efficiency and prudent purchases of tools and parts, Chris is planning for a bigger shop and additional services in the coming years. His interest goes beyond the mechanical to the aesthetic, and he wants to add canvas work and upholstery to the menu of services.

Chris looks at the support of his parents and grandmother to credit his strong work ethic. “They were good role models for me,” he said. Also, moving to Grand Marais two years ago allowed him to be close to his grandpa, the artist Howard (Bud) Sivertson, for the last year of his life.

Chris has used a local bulletin board on Facebook and Google Maps and posted business cards around town to promote his business. If you want any boat repairs or service done, Chris may be reached at 218-626-5584.

Steve Fernlund
Steve Fernlund
Typically these “about me” pages include a list of academic achievements (I have none) and positions held (I have had many, but who really cares about those?) So, in the words of the late Admiral James Stockwell, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m well into my seventh decade on this blue planet we call home. I’m a pretty successful husband, father, and grandfather, at least in my humble opinion. My progeny may disagree. We have four children and five grandchildren. I spent most of my professional life in the freight business. At the tender age of 40, early retirement beckoned and we moved to Grand Marais. A year after we got here, we bought and operated the Cook County News Herald, a weekly newspaper in Grand Marais. A sharp learning curve for a dumb freight broker to become a newspaper editor and publisher. By 1999 the News Herald was an acquisition target for a rapidly consolidating media market. We sold our businesses and “retired” again, buying a winter retreat in Nevada. In the fall of 2016, we returned to Grand Marais and bought a house from old friends of ours on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. They were able to move closer to family and their Mexico winter home. And we came home to what we say is our last house. I’m a strong believer in the value of local newspapers--both online and those you can wrap a fish in. I write a weekly column and a couple of feature stories for the Northshore Journal. I’m most interested in writing about the everyday lives of local people and reporting on issues of importance to them.
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